Skin: Fair due to living in the city. Easily tans.
Body Type: Slender
Is stronger than she looks (i.e. able to take on some physical activities due to her adaptable nature).
Traits & Characteristics
Strengths and Weakness (depending on the situation)
Has written for several east coast magazine, newspapers and periodicals about life in San Francisco.
Can use (and is not afraid to) a derringer pistol (mainly for self-defence purposes).
Aliases / Nicknames
Current: San Francisco
Kith & Kin
Grandfather: Ishmael Thornton (deceased)
Uncle: John Caleb Thornton (deceased)
Cousin: Shade Thornton
Her parents (Robert and Isabelle) and siblings (older brother Joseph and younger brother Harvey) are still alive - they live and work in San Francisco.
Born to Robert and Isabelle Thornton in Philadelphia. She is the second of three children born to the couple. Her father was one of the younger sons of Ishmael Thornton and brother to John Caleb Thornton (Shade's father).
Her family moves to San Francisco. On the way west, they visit John Caleb and his family.
Marries George Carlton, a young and upcoming lawyer. The marriage is relatively happy, even though she is unsure if she really loves her husband.
George Carlton is killed in a riding accident and leaves Sarah a small inheritance. With the help and advice of friends, Sarah invests the money in real estate and other businesses. The result is a modest income to support herself and live comfortably.
1865 - 1875
Sarah continues to live in San Francisco and at some point reverts back to her maiden name by adding it to her surname, as she feels that being label as a widow is cumbersome (however, she still uses her married name when necessary). She also starts writing articles for eastern magazines and newspapers about life in San Francisco as a way to earn extra income.
Popular and socially active, she has rejected a number of proposals and doesn't see the point in marrying as she is self-sufficient.
After finding out about a prominent San Francisco family's secret, she is given the choice to leave San Francisco or be financially and socially ruined. It is also implied that her family would be affected or in danger if she chooses to remain.
Before Sarah could respond to the young lady, Leah spoke again. As she listened, Sarah began to sympathise with Miss Steelgrave. The woman was putting up a good fight despite the opposition. If she was given a chance to prove that she meant what she was saying, she might be able to get something done.
As to what Leah Steelgrave could do in the short period of time there was before the town council meeting was a conundrum. Maybe a solution could be found by talking to Leah after the meeting was over. She wanted to help Leah but what would her family and the town think. The Thorntons and the Steelgraves were supposed to be enemies but this could be an opportunity to prove that not all of the Thorntons had the Steelgraves and vice versa.
Sarah smiled reassuringly at Leah before taking her seat again and waiting to see what would happen next.
It took a lot of willpower on Sarah's part not to frown or roll her eyes at the young lady who was now standing up in front. She had seen a lot of women like her back in San Francisco who put on indignant airs and it was something that didn't impress her. While it was the true, that the young lady had a point, as far as Sarah was concerned there was no need to be so dramatic or be put out about what had just occurred.
The issue of Leah Steelgrave running a project to build a hospital and orphanage was a contentious one and there was always going to be the possibility of some sort of conflict but she hadn't expected it to be from her own innocent question. If Leah Steelgrave was insisting that her family name wasn't going to be associated with the project then it was logical that she would have to step aside to make it more plausible and more importantly for others to believe that she was not her father's daughter.
“Will none of you ladies, whom I know to be good and Christian souls, at least show me an example. An example of forbearance to old enemies in pursuit of charity and succour to the poor, sick and suffering, just as He did who was sent to save us all?” her big blue eyes were filling with glittering tears now. “Will not you come and at least examine Miss Leah’s plans? Will not you, Mrs Wigfall, who have already helped so many? Will not you Miss Jennings? Will not … this fair stranger, with intelligence and kindness in her eyes?”
Directing her attention back to the young lady who was now addressing her, she took a deep breath, "Yes, I agree with your summation that Miss Steelgrave's plans should be looked at in great detail before a decision is made. I am sure the town council is doing just that and I hope we all have the good sense to know that those men will endeavour to make sure that they have all the information they need to do so. Hence my question, which unfortunately now seems to have become an opportunity for certain ladies who are currently in the audience to disrupt this meeting."
Sarah had just taken her seat at the back when Leah was introduced. The buggy ride from Lost Lake had a lot longer than she had expected. For safety reasons, she had two hands accompany her and they were now probably over at the saloon enjoying themselves, which was more than she could say for herself. Having already met some of the ladies who were seated at the front, she wasn't exactly in a rush to socialise with them. The only reason she had come was to get more information about this project and to relay it back to the others at the ranch. There was another reason that she wanted to come today but that would have to wait for later.
As she listened to Leah, she felt sorry in a way for the battle she was facing. Knowing the full story of what went on between her family and the Steelgraves, Sarah was in two minds about the subject. Part of her wanted to support her family and part of didn't want to make any judgements without getting to know the story from the other side, which would be difficult under the circumstances.
At the end of the speech, Sarah could see Leah waiting for a response. There was one question that she felt needed to be asked. Ventures like this back in San Francisco usually had some sort of board or committee running them and she was yet to hear anything about this. All she knew was that Leah and the two doctors were the principle project stakeholders.
Not knowing how her question would be taken, Sarah took a deep breath and stood up. "Excuse me Miss Steelgrave, you said the Steelgrave name would not be any part of this project. Am I right in assuming that you will be handing over all control to an elected board or committee and stepping aside if your plan is approved by the town council?"
Sarah shook her head at the offer of the sherry. Instead, she was quite eager to get going to the dance. The dance itself would be a good story to write about for Harper's Weekly. They were always interested in stories about life here in the west, especially the social occasions.
She thanked everyone for their compliments and then returned them. "Harriet, I think you will have many admirers as that colour suits you perfectly. As for you Quentin, this is the first time I've seen you in suit since Christmas and I think you should wear them more often."
Turning to Shade, she smiled, "And as for you cousin, I think that your school teacher will be very pleased."
Looking over to the clock that was on the mantle, she noted the time, "I suppose we must be going soon if we want to spend plenty of time at the dance."
Sarah took one last look in the mirror as she smoothed down the material of her skirt. This was the only, what would be termed out here, fancy dress she had brought with from San Francisco. The plan was still get some new ones made in town but she was in no rush. The clothes she had were adequate for life here on the ranch.
The dress she had on was a dark cream afternoon dress with red trim. Back home, she would have worn something else but then the dances here would not be the like the balls she had been to on many occasions and she liked that. In fact, she was liking life out here much more than she would have hoped she would. The few days, she had initially decided to stay for stretched in weeks and then months due to the winter.
After his initial wariness, Shade had started to accept her as part of the family, especially when he realised that she had no hidden agenda and was completely self-sufficient financially. During her stay, she had also started to teach the two children what she could. She was no teacher, but she could help them with their reading and writing, as well as stories about other places and people. Both Cody and Nettie had welcomed her even though they missed their old nanny, who had abruptly left shortly before her arrival in Kalispell.
Satisfied with the way she looked, Sarah made her way downstairs. She could hear Quentin, Harriet, and Shade talking. Smiling graciously, she reached the bottom of the stairs, "I'm sorry, I seemed to be the last one down. I hope I haven't kept you waiting."
"Thank you for telling me about what happened. I know that it must have been hard for you, having gone through a loss of my own."
Sarah sighed. There wasn't much else she could say in regards to the matter of Chance's death. She wanted to help out as much as she could but didn't quite know how to go about it. There's was no way she could invite herself to go to the ranch - that would have to come from Shade and that would probably depend upon how comfortable he was with having a long-lost cousin come over and stay for a short time. The best she could was to offer help and let him know that he was welcome to get in touch with her if he wanted to.
"I wish I could do or say something that could be of a comfort or a help to you at this time. I'm not even sure what you think of me but if you're ever in a mind to stop by the hotel and talk or have a meal, I would like that."
"The hotel?" Shade raised his eyebrow. If pressed, he would admit that he was wary of a long-lost relative showing up out of the blue. However, there was also and old saying, keep your friends close and your enemies closer. It was doubtful that Sarah or anyone in her family had designs on the twins' inheritance, but he could learn more about why she was in town if she was nearby. "The distance in from the ranch might not suit you, but you are welcome at the lodge. It would be good for the twins to get to know family."
Smiling, Sarah replied, "Yes, I would like that a lot. I have to admit that the few days I have been here already, I have been at a loss since I don't know many people. It will be nice to get to know you again and to meet Chance's children. If there is anything you would like me to do just let me know."
She stood up, "I expect that you would like to leave soon." She reached into her reticule and pulled out some money. "If you need to hire or buy a buggy to carry my luggage, this should cover it. I'll go and get my things and wait for in the lobby."
With that she left, feeling a bit relieved that she wouldn't be spending the next few days on her own.
Shade rose, intending to hand her the money back, but she had already whisked herself away. He pocketed the money with a wry smile. He could always give it back to her later since they kept a spare conveyance at the livery for just such occasions. Grabbing his hat, he jammed it on his head and headed out to get the trip to the ranch sorted.
"We can have coffee here," she said pointing in the direction of the dining room, "There's a lot I want to ask you about, so the sooner we get started the better as I know that you're a busy man."
After finding a table at the far of end of the room, they ordered their coffees. As they waited, Sarah began, "You're probably why I came here. Well, first of all, circumstances arose that, well, made it necessary for me to leave San Francisco. My father requested that I come here first to find out what happen to Chance. He and Chance had been corresponding for some years after the death of your father. When he hadn't received a reply to his last letter, he was worried."
She paused, looking for the right words to say, "I found out on the stage trip here that Chance had died. I knew I had to get in touch with you as soon as I could so I could find out the details before writing my to father. It was sad to hear about Chance's death. You both made a great impression on me and my brothers when we came to visit all those years ago. If you don't want to go into details about what happen, I will understand but I would like to know."
After receiving Shade's request, Walter Simpson made his way quickly upstairs and back again. "She'll be down in just a moment."
A few minutes later, Sarah came down the stairs. She went over to Walter who pointed out Shade to her. As she approached her cousin, she could see a family resemblance, especially to her younger brother, Harvey. When she reached him, she held out her hand, "Hello, Shade. It's been a while."
A frown appeared on Sarah's face. She hadn't expected anyone to act on her behalf to contact Shade and she wasn't sure what to think of it. Maybe it was part of the service the hotel gave but the owner should have had at least told her what he done and not spring it on her like this. Here she was thinking she would have another day or two to prepare and now it could happen today. The long-crafted letter she had in her hand now felt odd.
"i suppose I should thank for your help," she said solemnly, "So, I will say thank you but in the future, I would like to be advise of your intentions."
Matt sighed heavily, "You're right I should have told you and I did intend to but..."
"I know you were distracted by other things," By now she was getting a little bit vexed at what had occurred. "I hope you don't make a habit of interfering with all of your guests' personal business."
Before he answer, she held up her in a stopping motion, "It's not that I appreciate your help, it's more the fact that you did not ask me if you could. I have never liked men making assumptions about me or for me."
Sarah turned to leave, "When my cousin arrives could you direct him to my room. If I'm not there could you please ask him to wait. I will probably out shopping, so I won't be long gone."
After making her way downstairs to the hotel lobby, Sarah went over to the front desk. The clerk, who she had found was called Walter Simpson was busy with another guest.
When he had finished he turned to Sarah, "Good morning Mrs. Thornton-Carlton."
"Good morning," she said as she stepped closer to the desk, "Could you please tell me how I can go about getting a letter out to Lost Lake Ranch?"
Walter nodded, "Yes, Mr. Wentworth asked me to send you right in when you came down."
Sarah frowned a little, "Mr. Wentworth?"
"Yes...it seems that he has made some inquiries on your behalf." Walter smiled, "Part of the service we give at the Belle. If you ever wish me to help you on any matter just let me know."
"I will, " Sarah answered cautiously. She wasn't quite enthralled by the way Mr. Simpson had subtlety hinted that he would also give to the same depth of service has Mr. Wentworth obviously had.
She asked Walter to let Mr. Wentworth know that she was there. He came back about a minute later and told her that she could go in.
Sagas of the WIld West is a roleplaying game set in a fictionalized version of the town of Kalispell in Montana territory. Our stories begin in 1875 and are set against the backdrop of actual historical events.Sagas was inspired by the classic television and movie westerns. Our focus is on writing, storytelling and character development.
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